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CDC Says Essential Employees Can Return To Work After Coronavirus Exposure If They Follow New Guidelines

Essential employees may be allowed to return to work after being exposed to the coronavirus if they take certain precautions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new guidelines on Wednesday detailing how “critical infrastructure” workers may return to work even if they have had close contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19. The CDC said “exposure” constitutes living with or being within six feet of someone within 48 hours of them developing coronavirus symptoms.
“One of the most important things we can do is keep our critical workforce working,” CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Wednesday. The guidelines will cover workers in healthcare, first responders, food supply, and other fields.
The aim of the new guidelines is to “get these workers back into the critical work force so that we don’t have worker shortages,” Redfield said.
The CDC guidelines consist of five steps potential coronavirus patients should take: 
  • Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
  • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
  • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
  • Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
  • Disinfect and Clean work spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
Some of the steps the CDC has already recommended the public put in practice generally, such as wearing a mask when outside or around other people. 
On Saturday, President Trump raised the issue of reopening the economy, supporting a second Coronavirus Task Force focused on how to safely lift restrictions and ease the United States out of its pandemic-induced lockdown. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and national economic adviser Larry Kudlow are expected to be on the new task force with a number of heads of private industry.
The Department of Labor released the latest unemployment claims data on Thursday morning, announcing that over 6 million Americans had applied for unemployment insurance for the second straight week. Within the last three weeks, nearly 17 million Americans have filed unemployment claims as businesses collapse under restrictive pandemic regulations. 
As The Daily Wire noted, “The flood of unemployment claims has swamped state and local governments responsible for dolling out the insurance payments. Crashing websites and clogged phone lines are causing long delays for an untold number of applicants. Economists are unsure when the historically high unemployment numbers may peak. Experts worry that as unemployment rates across the country rise, the chances of a fast economic recovery are slipping away.”
Noteably, people that have attempted to apply for unemployment insurance and were not able to connect with state offices because of the massive influx of claims are not included in the number of filings reported by the DOL, a proxy for jobs lost over the course of the week.

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